PEORIA, Ill. — “At some point they lose that helium and they’ll come back down and could get into a line.” said Daetta Jones, Director of Division 1 Operations for Ameren Illinois.
It’s that time of year where everyone is wanting to get outside..With Memorial Day weekend, graduations and other celebrations right around the corner for many, balloons might be at the top of some of your check lists. But you may want to think twice the next time you head to the store.
“Mylar balloons are a very popular inexpensive way to celebrate.. but they are also conductive. When they come into contact with our electric lines they can cause an arc which can cause an outage or a spark to occur, or maybe even cause some fires.” said Jones.
Take last year for example-
“In the Collinsville area we had a large group of mylar balloons float into our power lines and actually caused an outage for 3,000 people for more than a couple of hours.” said Jones.
While they can be detrimental when they get into lines, the Peoria Zoo wants you to be mindful about how balloons can be harmful for their animals as well.
“We dont allow any balloons on grounds- they could get away, get into an animal enclosure, animals could eat them, they could also get hung up in a tree which could spook some of our animals.” said Yvonne Strode, Director of Peoria Zoo.
So next time you’re celebrating outdoors, keep yourself, your neighbors, and the environment in mind as you grab those party favors.
“Our recommendation is you stay a minimum of ten feet away of power lines with anything, but also when you are using mylar balloons outside that you keep them tied down and weighted down.” said Jones.